Mom: 7-year-old witnessed accidental shooting of his 2-year-old brother

Jacksonville police investigate shooting death of Jayden James Piedra

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 7-year-old boy witnessed the accidental shooting of his younger brother, the boy's mother told News4Jax during an emotional interview Monday evening. 

Donna Crump-Piedra tried to keep from crying as she spoke about the shooting death of her 2-year-old son, Jayden James Piedra.

"I always kissed his feet and the hugs just sent chills down my body. I gave him hugs," she said. "I always hugged him like it was my last."

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Jayden was shot about 10 a.m. Saturday at the MorningSide Apartments on Jammes Road. He was taken to UF Health, where he later died. 

Family said the toddler somehow gained access to a loaded gun and the gun went off.

Crump-Piedra recounted that she had fallen asleep at a friend’s apartment when her 7-year-old son woke her up after witnessing his 2-year-old brother accidentally shooting himself. She said she never heard a gunshot.

“My son came in and told me," Crump-Piedra said. "I didn’t know what to do. All I could do was call 911.”

Jayden's mother said she didn’t know there was a gun in the apartment and she doesn’t know who owns the gun. She just knows that her 7-year-old is now dealing with the fact that he saw his little brother get shot. 

“I know, if I’m stressed out, I know he’s stressed out. He saw it. That’s his brother and they loved each other," Crump-Piedra said.

She said her 7-year-old is currently staying with a relative to get his mind off what he witnessed. But she knows it’s not enough and said he will likely get counseling. She said she also needs counseling because the loss of her youngest child has taken a significant toll on her, both physically and mentally. 

“I wake up several times and bust out crying. Can’t walk. Can’t breathe. Pacing, pacing, pacing. Just calling for Jayden," Crump-Piedra said. "I never thought it in the 2 ½ years, it would be my baby."

Charges have not been filed in the case and it's still unclear who owns the gun.

The 7-year-old's biological father said his son told him he tried to take the gun away from Jayden, but it was too late.

As police continue to investigate, family members are trying to plan Jayden's funeral, but are not sure how they will be able to afford it. The family asks anyone wishing to help with funeral expenses to call James Graham Mortuary on Moncrief Road. 

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